Liturgy by TLW



St. James of Jerusalem, Bishop and Martyr

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

October 23


The following Eucharist was put together for a conference ministerium that occurred on this commemoration.  It includes portions of the Liturgy of St. James, described below in the Acknowledgments at the end of the liturgy.






Dialog of the Saints:

A. Praise the Lord, all you saints!

C. Praise him, all you heavenly hosts!


A. So great a cloud of witnesses surrounds us.

C. They witness to God's mighty acts.


A. They witness to God's steadfast love.

C. Their witness guides us in our faith.


A. Give thanks to God for St. James of Jerusalem,

C. Bishop and martyr in the Church of Jesus Christ.


A. Sing praise to God, sing praise to him.

C. Sing praise and thanks for all his saints.


Hymn of Praise  "For All Your Saints, O Lord"


Prayer of the Day

P. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

C. And also with you.

P. Let us pray. Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops and leaders of your church. May the memory of your servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith, so that we may serve you and confess your Name before the world; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Amen



First Lesson: 1 Corinthians 15:1-7

Gospel Lesson: St. Matthew 13:54-58



Litany from the Ancient Liturgy of St. James:

A. In peace let us pray to the Lord.

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For the peace that is from above, and the loving-kindness of God, and the salvation of our souls; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For the peace of the whole world, and the unity of all the holy churches of God; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For those who bear fruit, and labor honorably in the holy churches of God; for those who remember the poor, the widows and the orphans, the strangers and needy ones; and for those who have requested us to mention them in our prayers; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For those who are in old age and infirmity, for the sick and suffering, and those who are troubled by unclean spirits, for their speedy cure from God and their salvation; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For those who are passing their days in virginity, and celibacy, and discipline, and for those in holy matrimony; and for the holy fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers agonizing in mountains, and dens, and caves of the earth; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For Christians sailing, traveling, living among strangers, and for our sisters and brothers in captivity, in exile, in prison, and in bitter slavery, their peaceful return; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For the remission of our sins, and forgiveness of our transgressions, and for our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and constraint, and uprising against us of enemies; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For favorable weather, peaceful showers, beneficent dews, abundance of fruits, the perfect close of a good season, and for the crown of the year; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For those here present, and praying with us in this holy hour, and at every season, their zeal, labor, and earnestness; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For every Christian soul in tribulation and distress, and needing the mercy and help of God; for the return of the erring, the health of the sick, the deliverance of the captives, and rest for our sisters and brothers who have fallen asleep before us; let us pray to the Lord:

C. O Lord, have mercy.


A. For the hearing and acceptance of our prayer before God, and the sending down on us of His rich mercies and compassion; let us pray to the Lord:

C. We offer supplication to God the Lord.


P. You are the gospel and the light, Saviour and keeper of our souls and bodies, God, and your only-begotten Son, and your all-holy Spirit, now and ever.

C. Amen


P. The peace of the Lord be with you always.

C. And also with you.

All share a sign of peace



At the Preparation of the Gifts, all sing: "Doxology"

Great Thanksgiving (spoken)


Eucharistic Prayer

P. Blessed are you in your saints, O Lord of heaven and earth. For us and for our salvation, you gave your only Son, that all those who believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life. By your grace, you called us through baptism to be living saints, members of the Body of Christ, to bring the Good News of salvation to all the world. For all this, we give you thanks and high praise, remembering the humble example of your Son and of faithful saints of ages past. Send now your Holy Spirit into our hearts, that we may receive our Lord with a living faith as he comes to us in his holy supper.

C. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


P. In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

    Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

C. Our Father ...


At the Breaking of the Bread:

P. Holy things unto holy people.

C. One only is holy, one Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, to whom be glory for all eternity.     Liturgy of St. James





A. Let us pray. O God, through your great and unspeakable love, you condescended to the weakness of your servants and have counted us worthy to partake of this heavenly table. Do not condemn us sinners for the participation of your pure mysteries, but keep us, O good One, in the sanctification of your Holy Spirit; that being made holy, we may find part and inheritance with all your saints who have been well-pleasing to you since the world began, in the light of your countenance, through the mercy of your only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ; with whom you are blessed, together with your all-holy, and good, and quickening Spirit: for blessed and glorified is your all-precious and glorious name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to all eternity.    Liturgy of St. James

C. Amen



Benediction and Dismissal




The Prayer of the Day is reprinted from Philip H. Pfatteicher, Festivals and Commemorations, Augsburg Fortress 1980, p.401. The Eucharistic Prayer is by T.L. Weitzel. The portions of the Liturgy of St. James are reprinted from The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII, A.Roberts & J. Donaldson, eds., Eerdmans. 1979, alt.


The Liturgy of St. James of Jerusalem has been ascribed, at least in part, to the apostle and brother of our Lord who was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. Although no text of the liturgy survives from earlier than the tenth century, most scholars agree that the liturgy was fully developed by the fourth century. After the conversion of Constantine in the early fourth century and the subsequent rise in popularity of Christianity in the Roman world, Jerusalem became pivotal in influence among pilgrims, making the Liturgy of Jerusalem (St. James) the liturgy of choice for hundreds of years, especially in churches of the east.